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Adidas Predator 18.1 Review

The basics:

Brand: Adidas

Name: Predator 18.1

Release Date: November 22, 2017

Facts and stats

The Adidas Predator 18.1 is a football boot that needs no introduction. It’s a legend among pro players and soccer enthusiasts alike, with David Beckham being the most notable poster boy of these iconic boots. The aggressive ridges, the striking silhouette, and the modern innovations made the Predator 18.1 a true menace on the field. Released on November 22, 2017 with much hype and fanfare, these boots carry the spirit of the original Predator, but this time with a bit more daunting presence.

Throughout the years, Adidas has graced the football world with several classic boots. But none has received a cult-like following other than the Predators. With the Predator 18.1, Adidas stayed true to the very ethos of what made the Predator so popular. For players who are looking to control the game and make defense-splitting plays, these football boots are the ones to go for.

Fresh out of the box

Adidas made a statement with the introduction of the Predator 18.1 by releasing a fire colourway. The black and red colours fit the Predator name perfectly and with the addition of the ankle collar, they look sleeker and more modernized. The infamous rubber elements that made the previous Predators so popular have been replaced with ridges on the forefoot and instep for added reinforcement and flexibility.

Keeping the surface of the boot clean meant that the Primeknit upper exhibited soft, leather-like characteristics which helps greatly with fitment and durability. The upper also features Adidas’ Controlskin, a synthetic material that’s grippy in texture. This leads to superior ball control that few football boots can match.

The important stuff

With the return of the revered Predator line, these football boots generated a lot of buzz in the football community. The question is, do they live up to the hype? We laced up the 18.1s to find out.

Touch – 10/10

The Predators donned the incredibly honed right foot of David Beckham and with the 18.1s, Adidas stayed true to its roots. These football boots have one of the softest synthetic uppers out there and with the ridged Primeknit material up top, you get different levels of touch to the ball. Adidas wanted the 18.1s to have a feather-like touch and you get exactly that when dribbling the ball at various speeds

Control – 10/10

While the previous Predators were built like a tank, the 18.1s feels more buttery and slick. This meant that Adidas placed more emphasis on superior ball control rather than all-out aggressive striking. Aptly named, Controlskin adds a dynamic feel to the ball whether you’re striking, dribbling, or passing. This provides a glue-like touch to the ball which enhances ball control regardless of the weather conditions.

Passing – 10/10

Midfielders need a boot that offers a close touch and wide striking surface for making precise passes. The Predator 18.1 does not disappoint in this aspect thanks to its ridged instep. The V-style groove pattern acts as a cushion when making passes and you can really feel how much zip it adds to the ball when making long passes.

Shooting – 9/10

The Predator 18.1s are more of a power/control boot than a striker’s boot. It’s not so much intended to provide extra power when shooting, but the accuracy with these football boots are deadly in our opinion. While the rubber elements from previous Predators gave a nice bang-and-wallop feel when striking, the 18.1s offer clinical precision for making game-changing plays.

Fit – 9/10

In terms of fitment, the Predator 18.1s feel surprisingly comfortable. For a football boot that’s aggressive-looking, you won’t find any issues with fitting (except for when you have really wide feet). The Primeknit sock collar feels comfortable around your ankles and the moulded heel counter ensures supreme lockdown when making long runs on the pitch.

Soleplate – 10/10

Adidas has labeled the soleplate of the Predator 18.1s as ControFrame. It provides plenty of flex in both directions, which contributes to that springy feel when striking the ball. The plates are well-balanced, giving players the traction, mobility, and flexibility to control the game at every aspect.

Value for money – 10/10

It’s hard to think of another football boot that matches the Predator 18.1 in the power/control boot category. The legendary Predators are here to stay and with the comeback of the Predator line, you’re getting a football boot with modern tech advancements to take over the entire game.

The Educator’s Opinion

Adidas has taken a vastly different approach with the Predator 18.1s. The previous generations were about raw power than anything else. But with these football boots, you’re getting a game-changing pair that offers superior control above anything else in the power/control boot silo.


The Adidas Predator 18.1 football boots retail for around $200 and come in a variety of sizes from 6 all the way up to 13. It’s also available in a number of different ground types like Soft Ground (SG), Firm Ground (FG), Artificial Ground (AG), versions.

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